Victims Speak Out Against Accused Sexual Offender

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

Geoffrey Friant just turned 55. He spent his birthday in jail, but Friday he was in the Jackson County District Court as witnesses testified against him.

"It started off with tickling and inappropriate touching and eventually it progressed," said one victim.

That victim is now 25-years-old. He says after the tickling, Friant's advances progressed into daily sexual relations. The alleged crimes happened over a ten year period.

"He was like a father figure to me," the victim said. H said he had no male role models in his life other than Friant, so he didn't go to police.

Prosecution: "Did he ever give you things?"
Victim: "Yeah."
Prosecution: "What did he give you?"
Victim: "Buy cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol. He would buy me shoes and clothes."

Friant's at least four victims are all young men. Each was under the age of 16 years old when the incidents occurred. He could face up to life in prison if convicted of the charges.

A close friend of Friant says during the last few years his health has declined. In court he had an oxygen tank to help him breathe.

"All I know is he's got some type of cancer, and he's got COPD and emphysema," said Doris Stevens, Friant's Friend.

During the court, Stevens heard testimony that Friant allegedly abused someone she knows. That hurts her deeply.

"Jeff is supposed to be my friend. And right now, if he did it then he deserves to do his time," said Stevens. "If he did do this crime, he needs to do his time. He needs some help, badly."

Friant has previously been convicted of attempted criminal sexual conduct in 1979 and again in 2003.

The preliminary hearing was interrupted after the prosecution said it may have more victims. That's unusual--Judge Klaeren said it only happens in about 10 percent of preliminary exams. The hearing will continue on March 18th.


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